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Mount Waialeale (or Wai'ale'ale) is a volcanic crater and the second highest point on the island of Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands. In the Hawaiian language, Wai'ale'ale means “rippling water” or “overflowing water.” Averaging more than 452 inches (11,500 mm) of rain a year since 1912, with a record 683 inches (17,300 mm) in 1982, its summit is one of the wettest spots on earth. As this rainwater makes its way down the 5,148-feet tall peak, they form innumerable streams. One spot on Mt. Waialeale is called the “Wall of Tears” because there are so many waterfalls plummeting down the deep, tropical green sides of the mountain that it looks as if it is crying.

Mount Waialeale isn’t easily accessible on foot. The sides are near vertical and ground is covered with trees and plants with a thick undergrowth of ferns. There are a few hiking trails in the area. The only way to really see the Wall of Tears is by helicopter, and even then you have to get lucky since the area is usually shrouded with clouds.

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© Amusing Planet, 2013.


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